200th Anniversary of the Act of Abolition of Slavery on the BBC

The BBC announces a season of programmes and online content to mark the 200th anniversary of the Act of Abolition of the Slave Trade (1807).

The season sets out to tell the stories of the forgotten heroes – the women and men who helped drive the spirit and action of the Abolition movement that eventually led to emancipation decades later – and to bring to life a story that still affects our lives in Britain today.

A range of programmes and content across television, radio and on bbc.co.uk/abolition presents an array of stories and voices – from the enslaved Africans, who drove and fuelled the abolition movement by resisting slavery at every turn on the Caribbean plantations; to The Quakers, Thomas Clarkson, Olaudah Equiano, William Wilberforce and the ordinary people of Britain who gathered evidence, went on marches, signed petitions and rallied supporters.

The very first public movement that led to monumental social change came into being and became the template for modern fights against injustice.

The season is presented and produced by historical experts, those with personal connections to slavery, and those who profoundly understand how the legacy of slavery affects us now.

They include Kwame Kwei Armah, Moira Stuart, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Buerk, Simon Schama, Nicky Campbell, Rageh Omaar and Niomi Daley (Ms Dynamite).

Chantal Badjie, Abolition Season Project Director, said: “It’s a difficult subject to approach. Some fear it because it is a terrible period of history. Others assume it will be ‘boring’. The reality is it’s one of the most interesting, complex, disturbing, yet inspirational stories we never tell about Britain. I believe that this season offers something for all our audiences.”

The season runs from 20 February to 1 April 2007.

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